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Alan Nelson

More possibilities:
* If a this-worldly body were put in another world whose bodies did not conform to universal gravitation, would the this- worldly body so relocated still be attracted to bodies in this world? [in conformity with our law?]

* Could there be a world with BODIES that conformed to NO law of mutual attraction, or is being so attracted part of the concept of a body?

Schliesser, Eric

Thank you for these thought provoking questions. On the second question, the answer for Newton is 'yes' because mutual attraction is not part of the essence of body or system of bodies. (It would be a Huygensian world which he clearly recognizes is possible, although he also thinks there are some non-trivial problems for such a world.)
On the first question, I assume the answer is 'no,' but I am less confident.
For both questions, the key text is a passage from the (posthumously published) original draft of the System of the World, where Newton talks about two bodies (who mutually attract each other) sharing in a nature because of their dispositions. (Stein discusses the passage in his chapter on Newton's metaphysics in the Cambridge Companion; I discuss it in my gravity as relational quality paper; George Smith has recently produced a new translation that he may be willing to circulate.)

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


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